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Snagging Pearson's AR assets and $1 million in cash, GIGXR is ready for its close up

Jonathan Shieber

Meet GIGXR, the new owner of all the assets of Pearson Immersive Learning Group, a subsidiary of the education and media publishing giant, Pearson.

Formed specifically to roll up Pearson's virtual and augmented reality assets, GIGXR is helmed by David King Lassman, the founder of streaming media company Vyclone and the Southern Californian venture capital firm White Hart Ventures.

The serial entrepreneur had been in discussions with Pearson for the better part of a year to acquire the company's VR and AR assets. Initially established as part of a collaboration with Microsoft back in 2014, when the company first began work on its HoloLens, the media giant is spinning out the team as it explores the broader sale of certain assets.

The group has intellectual property for virtual and augmented reality training programs for hospitals, nursing schools and universities, according to a statement.

Based in Los Angeles, GIGXR now owns flagship products including HoloPatient and HoloHuman, mixed reality training programs for medical schools that operate on the new HoloLens 2 headset.

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with GIGXR on the heels of our release of HoloLens 2, which has been incredibly well received,” said Dan Ayoub, general manager for Mixed Reality Education at Microsoft, in a statement. “Our collaboration with the GIGXR suite of applications and team of technology entrepreneurs and thought leaders will dramatically impact the way the world uses mixed reality solutions for enhanced learning now and into the future.”

Operating at the intersection of the $252 billion education market and the $61 billion extended reality industries, GIGXR is actually mining one of the few veins where virtual reality has found a real customer pain point. As a training tool in enterprises, virtual and augmented reality headsets find themselves following a similar trajectory as Google's trailblazing (and much maligned) Glass technology.

If there's one place where emerging technology can be embraced, it's in businesses where there's an actual use case for the tech. Whether on the assembly line or in human resources training, companies are turning to virtual and augmented reality in ways that consumer buyers haven't.

Indeed, Pearson customers, including Texas Tech University, University of Queensland, Bucks County Community College, University of Canberra, University of Leeds and other campuses across the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom, will continue to receive support from GIGXR for their augmented reality-influenced curriculum.

Lassman said the company had raised $1 million in seed financing and would be seeking to raise additional capital in the first half of 2020.